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Old 12-04-2018, 03:10 PM   #1
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Lowrance (or for that matter any FF) Terminal plug care

I've had my Hook5 for about a year.

After every use I wipe down my head unit with a damp rag, take a toothbrush with mild soap to the terminals, rinse the cable ends while washing the kayak, and reapply a dab of dielectric to each.

1 in 3 launches, I have an issue with a corroded power pin...
I've gotten to the point where I test it before loading it on the truck, but last night it started acting up on the water.

I've had luck with tiny wire brushes, steel wool, and once had to *slightly* bend the + pin so it's pressing against the the FM contact better.

Is this just standard for electronics and saltwater? Do you have a terminal hygiene ritual that spares you these headaches? I see a lot of people seem to like caps for their connectors. Any thoughts much appreciated.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:45 PM   #2
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Your routine is a bit excessive IMHO.

I use a very liberal amount of Dielectric grease. So much that its almost hard to get the connector onto the head unit. Basically filling up all the holes on both male & female sides. When I plug the head unit in, the excess grease gets squeezed out & creates a barrier to prevent water coming in. Thats about it for my "terminal hygiene ritual ". Put grease on & leave it on. Bare exposed connectors are gonna get corroded. I reapply appx every 10 trips or so.

Saltwater is inevitable, but do what you can to minimize the unit getting soaked. I use a gallon ziplock over the head unit when surf launching. I know lots of guys put the fish finder on the rail, but I think that's a pretty wet location on most kayaks. I like it mounted up front in the sail mast, because it stays decently dry up there.

Also don't leave the unit plugged into the battery when its not necessary. Don't plug it in until you launch, and unplug it as soon as you are off the water. Don't leave it plugged in if you land for a shore launch, or leave it on when you go back to get your car. The electricity + the salt water is what causes issues.

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Old 12-04-2018, 10:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ProfessorLongArms View Post
I've had my Hook5 for about a year.
I've gotten to the point where I test it before loading it on the truck...
I agree. My electrical systems seem to get screwed up easily too. I test my FF and bait tank before each fishing trip.

A good flush of fresh water and scrupulous cleaning when I get home. I clean the connectors with contact spray. I blast them dry with a pressurized air bottle, then a good coat of dialectic grease.

I replaced all of my wire connectors with heat-shrink connectors. In the past I've filled the connectors with silicone caulking before applying the heat gun. The silicone squeezes out as they shrink and the result has been good.

Lately I've been covering all shrink connectors with brush on "Liquid Electrical Tape" from Home Depot. Same for the push on battery connectors - pushed in place then painted with Liquid Electrical Tape to seal them.

IMHO, electrical systems pretty much need regular cleaning and maintenance. Otherwise I'll be wasting time fiddling when I should be fishing.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:26 PM   #4
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I've got about 4 years on my Dragonfly FF so far with no connector problems. Just a dab of dielectric grease once per season, always disconnected and freshwater rinsed after every trip.

I always connect/disconnect power at the battery and not at the FF connector.

Only issue I had once was at the battery terminal to FF wiring crimp connectors, which are inside the kayak, fixed by soldering the wires and using waterproof marine shrink connectors.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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I beat the crap outta mine

And never wash after every Use. Notice on every used hobie kayak for sale it has been rinsed after every use? Lol. BS. Anyway, this hobie kit will come with wire end caps that possibly will have the updated water resistant caps. Progreassed and a dust shield on back of cap. If you don’t receive water proof caps, just fill caps with grease before threading onto your wire connection. You can also silicon back of cap for added protection. This should provide years of flawless protection.This connector is bulletproof. I had my first original connector from my first hobie bait tank / battery. It was about 6-7 years old when I retired it. After years of flawless performance on a bait tank battery, I decided to use these for all electronic connections. Like you and many others, I’ve gone through issues with F/F connections. Been years now. No more is it gonna fire up or die? Connectors are not cheap, but priceless investment. Part can be found in catalog. They can be found online or at local dealer. The connector pins of this are resistant to saltwater corrosion. No need to grease. I also use a nice battery that has terminal connectors like a car.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:03 PM   #6
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DVD in background is not for sale

So please don’t ask. Battery tender makes other half of the connecter. This can be purchased at local auto parts. It has a fuseable link which should have a 3 amp installed. This is recommended by lowrance. Battery is an earth x and is a waterproof lipo. Weighs about about 4 lbs and can run a 7 inch head unit for over 12 hours
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input everybody. This is really helpful.

Tony, you crack me up. I'm pretty religious about rinsing my shit, if only to get the saltwater out of elastic bands and rudder cables.... that stuff melts so quick with it in there.

Your setup info though... I'll probably look closer into something like this when my batteries and backups give up the ghost.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:46 PM   #8
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grease and hook up, if you disconnect on a regular basis you are asking for problems.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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After some thought, I think your issue may with the transducer cable. You leave your battery connected and if your power cable gets dunked it will get messed up. you will notice the green buildup. It will break down the metal in the connector. I have the caps or I leave them in a place where they will not be submerged in water.

As for Tony............ What can we say...... LOL.
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